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an ethnic group and religious sect.

The Samaritans live in Nablus, Jordan, and Holon, Israel. They number about 400. They are descendants of immigrants from Assyria who intermixed with the population of the Kingdom of Israel, which was conquered by Assyria in 722–721 B.C. Of the books of the Bible, the Samaritans recognize only the Pentateuch in a special redaction. Mount Gerizim (near Nablus), where the Samaritans perform sacrifices, is regarded by them as sacred. From the late sixth century B.C., the religio-political conflicts between the Samaritans and the Jews intensified. In 129 B.C. the Hasmonean ruler Hyrcanus I destroyed the temple on Mount Gerizim. In A.D. 36, under Pontius Pilate, the Romans inflicted a bloody massacre on the Samaritans.

The Samaritans have also lived in Egypt, Syria, Rome, Greece, and Iran. The Samaritan writing system is similar to Paleo-Hebraic, and the language itself is similar to West Aramaic. The fourth and 14th centuries were periods in which Samaritan literature flourished.


Vil’sker, L. Samaritianskii iazyk. Moscow, 1974. Montgomery, J. A. The Samaritans [2nd ed.]. New York, 1968.


References in periodicals archive ?
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for unanimously passing the Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act, legislation Heller introduced to speed access to public lands so accredited volunteer search groups can conduct searches for missing persons.
In that way, the Samaritans are like their Israeli Jewish neighbors.
Ahead of the event Samaritans Volunteers visited Huddersfield Railway Station on Friday in conjunction with Northern Rail to raise awareness and help to lower the number of suicides on the railways.
The road to Jericho needs better police protection, not only generous Samaritans.
Ezra relates the short discussion that took place between the Samaritans and the returning Judeans:
Birmingham Samaritans and their army of volunteers have been providing a caring, vital, and in some cases life-saving, service to the local people for more than 50 years.
Set up in 1984, Samaritans has 201 branches across the UK, and on Tyneside there are more than 100 people offering their time to talk and help others.
During 2013, the Newcastle-based branch of Samaritans received just under 22,000 contacts via phone, email, text and face-to-face meetings.
It is these men, who are often disproportionately economically and socially disadvantaged, that Samaritans are particularly targeting.
But the Samaritans need PS10,000 a year to operate and fundraisers are appealing for yellow tokens from the Daily Post so that they can apply to our PS25,000 Make A Wish Fund.
For Samaritans, it is their direction of worship and for Muslims it is the site of a tomb of a wise man living during the era of the great Muslim leader Salah Al Deen Al Ayoub.
To this day, the Samaritans adhere strictly to their ancient traditions of their religion.